Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Trump becomes the first foreign leader to have dinner in China's Forbidden City since 1949 (Photos)

US President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon for a state visit meant to maximise personal interaction between two of the world’s most powerful leaders.

Beijing is billing the trip as a “state visit-plus”, a term it has not used for any foreign leader since the Communist Party took power in 1949.

Trump is accompanied by his wife Melania and a delegation of dozens of business leaders.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the “state visit-plus” red-carpet welcome was in return for the “warm, considerate reception and the high standard and thoughtful arrangement” the Trumps made for Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan in Florida in April.

The Trumps started the visit with a trip to the Forbidden City in downtown Beijing, where they had tea with Xi and Peng before touring the former imperial palace.

The World Heritage Site was closed to the public and security tightened for the visit.

The two couples watched a Peking opera performance in the Forbidden City before having dinner together.

The honour of dinning in the Forbidden City has never been granted to any US President since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The Forbidden City is the historic palace that housed Chinese emperors and their families for almost 500 years.

The building dates back to the eighteenth century and was fully restored in 2005, making it one of the most well-preserved parts of the palace complex.

Trump will also be the first foreign leader to have an official dinner in the palace since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949.

More photos Trump's visit to the Forbidden City.

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